A Canadian Snowbird jet crashed into a British Columbia neighborhood on Sunday, May 17. The crash killed one member of the Canadian Forces Snowbirds team, according to CBC News. Another crew member was seriously injured shortly after the jet fell into the front yard of a residential house and burst into flame.
The Royal Canadian Air Force issued several tweets via their official Twitter account to keep people updated on the crash. In the first tweet, they indicated that they were aware of the crash near Kamloops, British Columbia, and were busy determining the status of the crew involved.
The #RCAF has been made aware that a Canadian Forces Snowbirds aircraft crashed in the vicinity of Kamloops, BC. Our priority at this time is determining the status of our personnel and supporting emergency personnel. When appropriate, more information will be made available.
— Royal Canadian Air Force (@RCAF_ARC) May 17, 2020
“It is with heavy hearts that we announce that one member of the CF Snowbirds team has died and one has sustained serious injuries. We can confirm that we have contacted all primary family members of those involved,” said the RCAF in a follow-up tweet.
A third tweet indicated that the hurt personnel member did not sustain life-threatening injuries.
CBC News reported that video footage allegedly showed a pilot ejecting from the plane before it hit the ground, although his status is still unknown. British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix confirmed that at least one person was taken to the hospital.
Update: Our previous statement indicated that the surviving member of the crash suffered serious injuries, we can confirm that their injuries are not considered life threatening.
— Royal Canadian Air Force (@RCAF_ARC) May 18, 2020
Thousands of social media users responded to the tweets to express their sympathies to the family of the deceased crew member and to offer support.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also took to his Twitter account to express his condolences.
“My thoughts are with the brave members of the @RCAF_ARC. The CAF will provide an update as soon as possible,” he wrote.
According to the publication, the crash happened soon after the jets departed from the Kamloops Airport.
“Witnesses say it was following another jet when it appeared to veer upward and circle the tarmac before going into a nosedive.”
At least one witness saw the jet come crashing down from the sky. Annette Schonewille was having coffee with friends when she watched the first two planes fly upward and then noticed one flying off-course.
She described it as a strange experience, saying the plane “did a cartwheel and fell right out of the sky.”
Schonewille also said that she saw a “burst of black, black smoke” when it hit the ground.
The publication stated that the Snowbirds team was planning a morale-boosting tour as part of Operation Inspiration, which first started earlier this month in Nova Scotia. The operation is meant as a salute to frontline workers amid the coronavirus pandemic. Sunday’s flyover would have taken them through the Okanagan area.